Biochemistry juniors from UST emerged as champions in the national chemistry quiz bee PACSiklaban, organized by the Philippine Association of Chemistry Students (PACS), held on April 9 via the videoconferencing platform Zoom. 

Joshua Lawrence Bautista, Ryne James Gandia, Sophia Marie Castillo, Jaden Jardiolin, Dana Isabelle Segui and Aivee Joy Nacor comprised the championship-winning team, which bested teams from six other universities.

UST had another team, composed of Louie Rince Suyo, Joseph Michael Sioson, Geaver Nicolei Cortez, Aira Dacasin, Charles Nylxon Norriega, Maria Tricia Raza and Clare Robin Ramos, which finished in third place.

The competition consisted of elimination and final rounds. 

The eliminations had easy, average and difficult rounds. Each round consisted of 10 questions from the chemistry fields inorganic, organic, analytical, physical and biochemistry. The top five teams with the highest score qualified for the final round. 

Faculty of Pharmacy instructor Dalton Fortin, who coached UST’s representatives along with Alexis Rabrador, said the teams dealt with internet connection problems during the competition.

“The event required us to have multiple online platforms like Zoom, Discord and Jamboard. During our simulations and mock practices, most of them [experienced] connection problems. I instructed my students to have a backup plan like having prepaid mobile data if they experience internet connectivity problems,” Fortin told the Varsitarian

“The organizer was able to maintain the credibility of the contest. They made necessary adjustments and provided necessary assistance to make the event possible,” he added.

Bautista, captain of the champion team, said a member of his team got disconnected during the competition.

“One of our members got disconnected on a specific question so by that time we were one man down, but fortunately, he got back just in time for the next question. [Then] also the battery life of our gadgets really gave us a tough time because we couldn’t charge our devices when using earphones, so it was really hard to listen and communicate with each other when our devices were charging,” he told the Varsitarian. 

Fortin said the one-week health break implemented by the University gave them ample time to prepare for the competition.

A team from University of the Philippines-Manila placed second in the quiz bee. 

PACSiklaban was held during the 2021 National Chemistry Students’ Congress. Christine Joyce Paras


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